At the Vermilion City Council Meeting on Monday, March 16, 2020, Steve Herron, President of Council, explained that the public was not permitted to attend the meeting following the Center for Disease Control issuing a very strong recommendation that no gatherings are to be held for 10 or more people. There were a few more than 10 gathered, but they were all seated six feet apart. He made it clear that nobody from the public had come in or asked to come into the meeting.
Herron said there is a lot going on in city business that involves them being within a proximity of each other in accordance with mandates of them conducting meetings and doing their jobs. The mandate is under City Charter and under State Law. The Mayor sent him Attorney General Yost's statement concerning all of this and it basically said that they're in a situation where they need to have meetings.
There are several things they can do to comply with mandates and recommendations of elective and appointed officials. He said there will be a different seating arrangement as they will all be positioned 6 feet apart from each other. In the event they have more than 10 people attending, he will direct the public to remain 6 feet separate from each other; apart from children and a parent. In the event they can't do this, they will ask people to go to an outside area. It isn't his goal to preclude people from coming to the meetings, but they need to do their jobs and make sure they're setting a good example for the citizens. He asked everyone to monitor the Governor's press releases and the Director of Health's press releases, and the Attorney General who is monitoring these situations carefully.
Herron stated his first and last rule is to be kind to each other as they need to be an example. The community is a nice community and they look out for each other, so he encouraged everyone to look out for their neighbors as their behavior affects others when they go into a situation that could be tense. He stated everyone's decisions and behaviors impact other people. He said this will end and it's a tough time.
Herron said Council will reassess on April 6, but if they cannot have a meeting in this environment, then they will do it in another environment some other way with direction from the Attorney General on how to do their jobs. He asked Council members to not come if they were sick. If they cannot have a quorum, then they will not have a meeting.